FUNDING applications are now open for cattle, sheep and goat producers throughout Australia who are interested in running local projects to demonstrate on-farm benefits of research and development findings.
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is calling for applications for its 2022-23 Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program, with applications opening on 1 April 2022 and closing on 13 May 2022. This includes Levy and Co-Contributor funding options for projects ranging from two to six years.
MLA General Manager – Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the PDS program aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability.
“Adoption of research outcomes is absolutely critical to getting the best return on the research investments we make on behalf of levy payers. By addressing specific productivity priorities, producers are able to implement solutions that deliver direct benefits to their business. Producers who then connect with the demonstration sites then also make changes delivering productivity improvements at scale.” Mr Crowley said.
In an independent evaluation, MLA’s PDS program has delivered $168.8 million in total net benefits to participating producers as a result of completed projects between 2015-2021. In 2021-22 this was $10.8 million in net benefits to participating producers.
“On average, this means producers returned an additional net benefit of $6/ha annually as a result of their participation in the program.”
There are two funding options available to producer groups wishing to participate in the PDS program, Levy and Co Contributor.
- Producer groups wishing to engage in a Levy PDS project can apply for up to $25,000 per year, for the length of the project.
- While groups wishing to engage in a Co-contributor PDS project can apply for up to $50,000 per year, for the length of the project.
All producer groups will need to engage a facilitator who is experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting.
Co-contributor projects require producer investment in the project, which is matched by the MLA Donor Company (MDC).
Levy PDS program applications must be aligned to regional PDS priorities set by the Research Advisory Committees – SALRC, NABRC & WALRC. A complete list and further details of eligible categories can be found in the Terms of Reference.
Co-Contributor PDS program applications must align with industry priorities and targets as per industry and MLA strategic plans.
For full details of the Producer Demonstration sites (PDS) program and to watch the recording on a recent webinar about MLA’s PDS program and how to set yourself up for success in the upcoming PDS call, visit the Producer Demonstration Site section of MLA’s website.